Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has warned Bruno Fernandes could struggle with the physical side of the Premier League. The Portugal international showed glimpses of his talent on his debut for the club.
Fernandes sealed a long-awaited switch to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in the dying days of the January transfer window for a fee that could reach £68million.
He was thrown into the thick of the action in last weekend’s clash with Wolves because of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield crisis.
The Old Trafford faithful witnessed glimpses of Fernandes’ talent but Berbatov believes the new boy will need some time to get fully up to speed.
“Bruno Fernandes performed well on his debut against Wolves,” the ex-striker told Betfair.
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“He will need a few games to get used to the rhythm of the team but the Portuguese midfielder showed that he’s an intelligent player, with an eye for a killer pass and powerful shot.
“As he grows into his role, I can see Fernandes controlling games. But there were a couple of incidents that suggested he needs to work on the physical side of his game. The Premier League is the most physical league, much tougher than the Portuguese league and faster too.
“The signs are good for Fernandes and I am looking forward to United’s next match, following the winter break, to see how he slots into United’s system and if he can add creativity.”
Solskjaer was full of praise for Fernandes’ performance against Wolves.
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“Bruno is a top player,” the Red Devils gaffer said after the stalemate. “It’s the first game. First half everyone was getting the ball into feet and Bruno is one of those who, when he gets into feet, he wants players moving in front of him and we didn’t.
“Bruno Fernandes will become a top footballer. Give him time and he will become a very good addition for us.
“We dropped him deeper to get him on the ball and I thought him and Fred did very well.
“His demeanour, smile, everything about him is a boost for everyone. He is a genuine lad, a top professional and he is a winner.
“Today we saw glimpses of his character and we will see more and more.”
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